Little Big Planet Review
The Playstation 3 has had a few platform exclusive games for the fanboys to argue about when defending their favorite systems this generation against the 360.
Is this shooter better than that shooter? This system has better role-playing games, that one has better downloadable materials. This system has to download games longer for lesser load times, that one has really ugly avatars you are forced to make. This system costs a HELL of a lot less than THAT one right now.
In a PS3 vs 360 world, where -lets be frank here- there are not any extremely good reasons to own one system over the other (unless you are a brand name loyalist) steps a game that does not have anything like it anywhere on that other system.
Little Big Planet is a game that has to be played to be fairly judged. Any one of the parts might be considered lacking if one part was viewed solely.
The single player game, to be honest, would not garner a five star rating. The story is ridiculous, the levels range from very easy to very frustrating (especially to the new player), and serves more as a showcase of what can be done with the game and a means of finding new decorations, costumes, enemies, and set pieces rather than any great work of art.
After the first three stages, the Player can go to work trying their hand at making their own artistic masterpieces (or crappy start/finish piles of crap, but more on that later), and that is where the real game starts to shine.
You will learn from the start that not everything is available from the get go. Having the basic materials is nice, but if you intend to make a masterpiece in your way, you will have to go back to seek out every hidden bubble you can find. The more stickers and materials added to your creation set, the more you will want to get every last one.
There are other benefits to replaying the worlds as well. You can deck out your Sackboy (or girl) in new duds, as well, and with quite a few items to be found and unlocked, the game will likely turn people with a passing interest in making their characters look different into collecting fiends.
Not all the items can be found playing single player, however. If you have friends and extra controllers, dig them out. Most of the challenges in the game require at least two players to get some specially tailored two player area bubbles. Some even require three or even four players as well. If you are someone without extra controllers (or friends) then you're next best bet is to take the game online and try and find some new friends to help you unlock these challenges.
Online play is excellent at best, jerky and quite unplayable at worst. I personally have had a mixture of perfect games with people, and unplayable jerky glitchfests where enemies appeared suddenly, dangerous things jerked right into my Sackboy and I had to drop out.
The community on Little Big Planet also seems to be excellent to completely worthless. I had more good times with people than bad, but that does not mean that there were not people more interested in slapping your character off of platforms, and sticking their stickers all over the world rather than playing the game. To do some of them two, three and four player challenges, you are going to need the former, not the latter so find some good friends and keep them.
When you have played the game to your satisfaction, got all those bubbles, and decked out your Sackboy in whatever costume you like, you can turn back to the creation aspect of the game, or go online and see other's levels, and as this is where the meat of the game is, that is where the majority of the fun is to be had.
Level creating is simple, deceptively so with all the things you can do with the level editor (even after unlocking it) and going through tutorials is invaluable not only for learning how things work but for getting scores of new stickers to play with. The limit to what you can do is held back only by your imagination and your thermometer which shows how much room that is available for your level, and which over complicated levels will fill straight up.
There were times that I wished that there was more room to make a level, but a quick look at some of the other levels will show that creative use of the same materials can yield very stunning results regardless.
Playing online levels is a crapshoot. There are great levels based on ideas that are brilliant, and a slew of cartoon, video game, and movie based games that are fun while you can get them, and there are levels that are a starting gate, a finish line and a plea for hearts (probably posted by Trophy hunters).
Where your own levels fit is largely up to your personal ingenuity.
There is nothing like Little Big Planet on either the 360 or Wii (yet), and with generous downloadable costumes and sticker packs that have been priced affordably thus far, along with the random free costumes and the very excellent Metal Gear Solid downloadable content (and Character costumes) and rumors that Little Big Planet 2 may be an add on to the first game as well, the creators of Little Big Planet have a game that is definitely worth owning if you own a PS3.
And if you do NOT own a PS3, this is probably the best reason to start saving for one, or wishing that the price of the system drops and soon.